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Work set to begin on Sunderland's Northern Gateway

The first works on the new Northern Gateway into Sunderland city centre are due to start next week.

The Gateway will see North Bridge Street and Dame Dorothy Street become a two-way for all traffic and will improve access in and out of the city centre.

Work will start next week, setting up site compounds and accommodation, with traffic management in place from Monday 12 February to allow road widening works and footpath improvements to begin.

Councillor Michael Mordey, the City Council's Portfolio Holder for City Services, said:

"This council is committed to improving our city's road and transport network.

"In recent years the council has completed major works at St Mary's Boulevard, the Wheatsheaf Junction and, of course, the New Wear Crossing is nearing completion.

"The council is also continuing with its preparations for the continuous dual-carriageway from the A19 into the city centre.

"The Northern Gateway is part of the big picture for a council that is continually investing in our city. As well as improving journey times and our built environment, work on our infrastructure helps attract more private sector investment and links our communities."

Residents and businesses near the works area have been advised of the works programme.

The City Council's Cabinet backed the gateway's works programme at its January meeting after the council secured an extra £3.36m of funding for the scheme through the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF).

This allowed the council to revise the budget and propose extra features including more highway resurfacing and new paving throughout the North Bridge Street area.

Works have been programmed in stages and will take a break for July's Tall Ships Event and the Sunderland International Airshow.

The scheme includes:

• New signalised junction at the Church Street North/Dame Dorothy Street junction, with new pedestrian crossing facilities

• Road widening on Dame Dorothy Street for two-way traffic. This will also include the construction of a new retaining wall within the grass verge

• New road layout at the North Bridge Street/Dame Dorothy Street junction to allow a right turn onto Dame Dorothy Street

• Amendments to the Wheatsheaf junction to allow all vehicles to travel southbound on North Bridge Street

• Changes to the roadmarkings over the Wearmouth Bridge and southern bridgehead roundabout.